It was rather cute but surprising the other day when Thomas and I were riding in the car and he announced to me that he felt like he needed to hang out with his friends more and that he was going to get ahold of them.
Did he just say that? HE'S going to get ahold of them?
This was so good. Such a good announcement.
We arrived home and he disappeared into his room. I figured all of his talk was just that. Talk. Then within a few minutes he emerged and asked if he could go over to Patrick's. Patrick is one of his best friends. Patrick has always watched over him. Patrick was the only one to call and see how Thomas was doing when Thomas was hospitalized the 3rd time just before graduation. Needless to say, I love Patrick. When the two of them get together they mostly play video games but Patrick has ALWAYS been mindful of exactly what game they play because he knows Thomas is susceptible to the scary ones and he doesn't want Thomas to have any problems later on after seeing something scary. THAT is a good friend.
When Thomas came out of his room he told me he was going to go hang out with Patrick. I was overjoyed. I put him through his paces though asking him exactly how it had gone down.
Did you text him?
What did you say?
What did he say?
When are you going over there?
For all of my excitement, Thomas remained relatively stoic, unaware of the great feat he had just accomplished. For those of you who don't know Thomas, he doesn't do this. He NEVER initiates a "hang out". He ALWAYS waits for someone else to invite him which happens rarely.
Off he went to Patrick's just before twilight and I immediately thought to myself,
"There is NO WAY he'll walk home afterwards in the dark."
I was wrong. After staying there a couple of hours Thomas texted and told me he was coming home. I wanted so badly to ask him if he wanted me to pick him up but I knew this was one walk in the dark he needed to take to test his paranoia and fears. In no time at all he was home and happy as a clam because they had fun playing games and hanging out together. He had even stayed for dinner.
Then the next day I was taking a shower and he was pounding on the door to the bathroom. It scared me to death. He rarely does this. When I shouted "WHAT?!?!?" at him he opened the door and asked me if it's alright that Cole come over.
Someone's coming to OUR house?
"Yes, of course kiddo, when?"
It turned out that Cole was going to spend the afternoon with us watching YouTube videos in Thomas's room. Cole, on the other hand, compared to Patrick, is a little bit of a different story in terms of how I feel about him and the friendship. Cole and Thomas have a checkered history in that together they kind of ended up in a "bad place", the two of them egging each other on into some bad ways of thinking. Cole has a small affinity for Nazi Germany (or rather he did back when the boys were in school). He was an angry child, he was, and is still, a disheveled kid, he wore some unknown (to me) military medals and clothing pieces. I know at one point he had it out for a couple of his teachers and for the high school and I had been on the phone twice to the school to warn them about him. Cole is an amicable kid around me and my home but something else brewed inside of him at that time. Honestly, Cole would have been the one who would come to the school and shoot up the senior class. Not Thomas, the schizophrenic kid. His father has an arsenal of guns because he buys and sells them at gun shows. I always worried about Thomas at Cole's house because I knew that then Thomas had that same access to those infernal guns. I always kept an eagle eye on Thomas after he'd spent time with Cole but at the time, when they were in high school, Thomas was just beginning to get sick. He had had his first psychotic break just months before his senior year and by his 1st and finally second hospitalization when he was diagnosed "acute paranoid schizophrenia" he was in full-blown psychosis and fighting the demon of schizophrenia unmedicated and under pressure with senior year activities. He, too, was a bit of a time bomb so the two boys together scared me a great deal. Together they had cooked up this seriously tweaked version of what our government should look like and it wasn't one that had anything good about it.
Needless to say, despite Cole's past proclivities, he was kind to Thomas and that helped to some degree now. Having him at our house the other day seemed fine to me because the boys hadn't hung out in a long time and with Thomas's bedroom door open, I was able to wander by his room and see what they were watching and playing. I wasn't concerned.
Cole stayed about 4 hours and left, saying a polite goodbye to Dan (my husband) and I. Thomas had had fun and since he hadn't hung around with friends in a while, I was glad that Cole had agreed to come over to our house (in fact he had invited himself preferring our house and the peace over his house and his dad that he hates).
All in all it was a good two days in a row. Thomas had initiated both meetings and his friends had returned in kind. Finally Thomas could see that he his capable of initiating meetings with friends without rejection. That is so good.
I haven't seen hide nor hair of the boys since those two days but over all I thought the whole thing was just terrific. I want Thomas to be social, it's a sign of stability, and yet again I got to see that that is indeed what is going on with Thomas.